Location: 5240 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, N8T 1C6.
Contact Information: 519.944.0212 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Monday / Tuesday: 8-8, Wednesday – Friday: 8-9, Saturday: 7-9, Sunday: 7-8
Cuisine: Rustic American Food
I remember this place back when it used to be The Maple Leaf: the restaurant of old was kind of an old and outdated looking place that me and my dad used to visit often if we felt like a decent meal that didn’t cost too much. I did remember the place fondly, we had gone there with family and friends, in the past, so it has been in my memory. Ever since they rebranded the restaurant, I’d been looking forward to see how things have changed since then; me and my wife had been meaning to check the place out for some time as we had just moved into the area a couple of months prior and we’d been recommended to go, recently, by some friends of ours so as soon as we were presented with the opportunity yesterday, we took it.
For lack of a better expression, this place blew my mind in terms of its looks and its presentation. This place has certainly seen some upgrades since I was previously at this location. I was pleasantly surprised the moment I walked in the door and was greeted by the great waiting staff as we were escorted to our seats. It was fairly quiet and we got plenty of time to look over our menu and we didn’t feel pressured to make our selections in the slightest, even though it didn’t take me long to find what I wanted from the menu, which is unusual for me as, with a menu that big, I like to take my time in finding what I’d like to eat. My wife already knew what she had come for – she was recommended the Chicken Parmesan – so that was actually probably one of the quickest orders we’d ever come to in some time. I ordered the French Onion Steak Sandwich with a side of gravy for my fries while my wife, of course, got the Chicken Parmesan she had come for.
The cooking time for our dishes wasn’t unreasonable and the waiting staff made sure our drinks were okay and that we were doing alright without seeming overwhelming or pressuring. It was a pleasant experience overall and I couldn’t stop talking about how impressed I was with the place. By the time our plates had arrived, we were plenty hungry and good thing, too: the portions were nice, considering: a lot of places fill a large plate by loading it with the sides so that way they can cheap out on the main but things, here, were very well balanced, meaning you got an equal portion of main and side and neither felt overwhelming. As we dug in, my wife seemed very satisfied with her dish and mine was practically sinful. While the sandwich’s taste itself doesn’t exactly scream “french onion” – whose term would be strongly associated with the soup, of course – the style of the sandwich certainly does: moderately sliced steak piled on a bun with tons of sauteed onions and mozzarella cheese on top of that steak. Served alongside the sandwich was a pile of fries and a side of coleslaw with an additional side of au jus for dipping the sandwich in. The coleslaw tasted a little bland but it was very fresh and a nice break from diving into that rich sandwich. The fries were great without tasting overly fried or undercooked. The side of gravy that I got tasted excellent but it coagulated a little early as it started to cool down and it wasn’t as appetizing as I was starting to finish my fries off. My wife finished her plate off and she seemed pretty impressed with hers, as well – very basic presentation and very clean and delicious looking. She topped her meal off with dessert, getting the Caramel Carrot Cheesecake which looked like your traditional cheesecake with moderate-sized chunks of carrot cake all over the place, with a caramel drizzle on the top. She said it was really good and it looked like a monstrosity from where I was sitting.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with my experience at the restaurant, from the moment I walked in until the moment I walked out. The food was great, the service was awesome, and the presentation and venue looked great, as well. Very much worth the price of admission for us.
The Final Verdict:
The Taste: Everything tasted great. I certainly want to come back and try some of their other dishes. Coleslaw was a bit bland but it served its purpose in giving me a nice break from the richness of everything else on the plate.
The Presentation: Our plates looked fantastic. No heaping piles of fries or pasta that we would never finish, everything was balanced well, looked very sharp, without getting incredibly artistic on us. It also looked just as appetizing as it sounded on the menu.
The Service: Our server was fantastic at making sure our experience was great. Our drinks never stayed empty for very long and she was very pleasant with us, all the way through, even making conversation as we were leaving.
The Venue: I think it was more shock value, for me, as it was a big change from how it used to look, but the place looks really, really good. Totally updated, totally modern, very classy.
The Cost: Considering what we had, we didn’t spend nearly as much as I thought we would. What ended up being a night to spoil ourselves didn’t turn out to break our bank, either. There were fairly pricier items on the menu but, overall, the cost of most items are pretty good, especially when you consider the quality of the food you’re getting.
The Experience: Right from top to bottom I felt that every penny we spent in the place was well spent.
Suggestions: Only things I could think of to improve things would be in the bun used for my sandwich; either use a slightly harder bun or toast the ones you use currently. The sandwich soaks it a little too quickly.
The Final Grade: A ; there’s always room for improvements at placed like these and while there isn’t a ton of improvement needed at a place like this, the sky’s the limit and I would love to see what it’s capable of.